fan casting

Which Ex-DCEU Actor Should Join the Fast Family Next?

Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, and The Rock have got what Zachary Levi and Henry Cavill (probably) want. Photo: Universal Pictures

Spoilers follow for Fast X, released in theaters on May 19. 

No one can escape La Familia — especially not when you try to leave Dominic Toretto’s sphere of influence for a DC Extended Universe film. Just ask Fast & Furious supporting players Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson, whose Wonder Woman 1984 and Black Adam were big-enough busts that they’re back in Fast X, swearing fealty to the J.R.R. Tolkien of our times — who himself realized way back in 2006 after Tokyo Drift that one simply does not walk away from this franchise. And the fact that Jason Momoa’s time as Aquaman is presumably ending after the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, but he’s now the new Fast & Furious baddie? It is certainly coincidental timing.

This franchise is now sprawling enough to fold in, and bring back from the dead, nearly everyone (except, of course, for Paul Walker’s beloved Brian, still alive onscreen despite Walker’s death in 2013, and the forever-forgotten Jesse, played by Chad Lindberg and killed at the end of the original The Fast and the Furious). So which other actors who failed in, and were failed by, the former DCEU could follow in Gadot’s, Johnson’s, and Momoa’s speeding skid marks and vroom vroom to the barbecue? Pull up a chair, pass a Corona, and let’s get brainstorming.

Henry Cavill as a Shaw brother

Our guy most likely left The Witcher franchise to return to playing Superman, only to have new DCEU head honcho James Gunn claim that Cavill coming back was never the plan and announce a recasting of the role with a younger actor for Superman: Legacy. That’s not tossing a coin to your Witcher, that’s snatching money out of his pocket! So why don’t we figure out a way to get Cavill into the Fast & Furious films? He can go with either his suave, smooth The Man From U.N.C.L.E. persona or his bruising, arm-reloading Mission: Impossible one, because both are hot and this franchise could use another very handsome man to balance out all the gyrating short skirts that come out for race night. Maybe he’s another member of the Shaw family? So far, Luke Evans, Jason Statham, and Vanessa Kirby have played siblings, with Helen Mirren as their mom. Retcon another brother in there, get Cavill to grow a mustache again, and we’re in business.

Joel Kinnaman and Jai Courtney as Dante-affiliated baddies

Suicide Squad was not a good movie, but it’s already wedged one cast member into the Fast & Furious universe: Scott Eastwood. (And a couple from Gunn’s The Suicide Squad too: Idris Elba, as the villain in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, and John Cena as Toretto’s estranged brother in F9.) Eastwood is inconsequential enough that Brie Larson essentially replaces him in Fast X, but let’s consider ways to take even more attention away from this man. I’d love it if Fast 11 were an all-out street-racing war between Dom’s family and a Dante-led crew of brawlers, and for that purpose, Joel Kinnaman and Jai Courtney seem perfect. Maybe they’re sleepers in the Agency who get activated by Dante and Alan Ritchson’s Aimes to join the cause? I know this means we would have to watch these men lose to Diesel in a fistfight, which is absurd. But that’s the magic of cinema, folks!

Amber Heard as Cipher’s second-in-command

Remember Drive Angry, the film Aquaman’s Amber Heard co-starred in with Nicolas Cage? Let her do the driving this time! Charlize Theron’s Cipher has always surrounded herself with male mercenaries for defense, but once they all turn on her in Fast X, maybe she changes tactics and hires an all-female team once she makes it back from Antarctica in Fast 11. Make Amber Heard a second-in-command for Cipher who, by extension, joins Dom’s family. (I know that Heard has allegedly retired from acting, but her relationship with Momoa on Aquaman was supposedly good. Maybe a brief return to Hollywood with his support would be a nice thing.)

Jurnee Smollett as Ramsey’s sister

Dom suddenly has a brother. Why can’t Ramsey suddenly have a sister? Nathalie Emmanuel has done fine work since her introduction as elite-level hacker Ramsey in Furious 7, but her character has never really felt integrated into the larger family because she’s so often relegated to running interference between the forever-feuding Tej and Roman. She’s doing that same old thing in Fast X, as well as suffering through an unnecessary cameo from Pete Davidson. Can we give her someone else to play off of already? My suggestion is Jurnee Smollett of Birds of Prey as Ramsey’s across-the-pond sister who is also an elite-level hacker and who also doesn’t mind helping the family out of a tight jam. Again, we accepted all this when Jakob Toretto appeared out of nowhere; I think we can do it again for the sake of giving Emmanuel’s character a bit more heft. And Smollett has the right kind of wild-card energy for this franchise.

Marwan Kenzari as the guy who saves Tej, Roman, Ramsey, and Han

Unlike what Johnson promised us, “the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe” did not change with the release of Black Adam. But that doesn’t mean Marwan Kenzari — who played both a tyrannical king and a crime-syndicate leader in Black Adam — should get sunk in that film’s critical and commercial failure. When Fast X ends, Aimes shoots down the plane Tej, Roman, Ramsey, and Han are flying over the Portuguese mountains. There’s no way all four of these characters are dead, so my assumption is they either redo the stunt from Furious 7 where they all drop out of the plane in cars (which would align with Fast X’s pattern of revamping some of the series’ most recognizable stunts and sequences), or they come across a helpful stranger near the crash site who helps get them out of there … and then becomes part of the crew because he ends up being hell on wheels! Kenzari worked with Theron in The Old Guard; please, ma’am, make a call.

Zachary Levi as the Toretto family faith leader

The Fast & Furious films have become increasingly nondenominationally Christian as they’ve gone on. See: Dom and Letty’s meaningful cross necklace and their wedding before a priest, plus all the shots of the Christ the Redeemer statue high above Rio de Janeiro. So there’s a natural opening for a faith leader to start blessing the family’s exploits. This is the role Zachary Levi has been waiting for his whole life. We need the (very publicly Christian) former Shazam to offer prayer hands up for the trilogy we’ve been promised! After Shazam! Fury of the Gods’s distinct non-impact, what else is he doing?

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Which Ex-DCEU Star Should Join the Fast Family Next?